Sunday Boutique Brunch at Museum Café

Once in a while, I get the chance to excuse myself from manning the store so that I could meet up with friends or other members of the family. I had brunch with my older brothers and sister-in-law on one of those times and we met at the Museum Café in Makati City.

Museum Cafe storefront
(photo above courtesy of Louisa)

Museum Café, also known as M Café, is another one of those restaurants under the Raintree Restaurants umbrella. It’s situated at the corner of the Ayala Museum, with a live jazz band located outside. It’s said to serve “Asian cuisine with a modern twist”, an idea which I honestly find a little bit disconcerting as it can be disastrous at times.

Seating is somewhat limited, so it’s best to reserve ahead of time or arrive early if you plan to dine here. Once the mass ends at the nearby churches/chapels, this place is said to get packed quite easily.

On Sundays, the restaurant offers their Boutique Brunch, where you can eat and lounge to your heart’s content from 10 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. The Boutique Brunch buffet spread can be enjoyed once you’ve decided on a main dish which you would like to eat.

meat spread

There were several areas of the buffet which showcased various items. The smoked meat spread you see above was one of the areas we visited several times during our brunch.

I personally enjoyed the smoked salmon available and managed to get a huge serving of it to enjoy while waiting for our main dishes to arrive. Apart from the smoked meats, there were also other things you could try, like the green and black olives and caramelized onions.

Right beside the smoked meats section is the cheese station, which is another area I highly enjoyed. I kept on returning for chunks of brie and cream cheese to be spread on crackers. The cheese selection is admittedly not as vast as the ones in hotel buffets, but I think this was already pretty acceptable.

interiors

There were other areas of the buffet which I wasn’t able to take individual photos of. These included the omelette and quiche station (leftmost side of the photo), their waffle and bread pudding station and their desserts station. If you find yourself in this restaurant for the brunch buffet, I recommend the delicious savory bread pudding, but be wary and take only a small amount at a time because it is VERY heavy. Don’t forget to save space for dessert too, as their cookies and cakes are also pretty good!

drinks collage

Drinks are not included in the buffet, so we had to order something for us to enjoy during the meal. There were a lot of drinks which you could choose from, ranging from your usual orange juice to iced teas to something alcoholic. We decided to stick to something non-alcoholic and chose (from left to right) dalandan iced tea (Php125.00), hot chocolate (Php135.00) and lychee iced tea (Php125.00). Personally, I think the dalandan version trumped the lychee one hands down.

grilled porkchop

The four of us chose different main dishes to enjoy that morning. My sister-in-law chose the grilled porkchop, which was served with two sauces on the side: gravy and apple sauce. It looked delicious and photogenic. Unfortunately, I was told that it was a dish which was just plain sweet. There were no other flavors to balance the sweetness out.

grilled chicken tandoori

Jay chose to have the Chicken Tandoori for his main dish. It was served with papadum, yogurt and lime on the side. I honestly thought it looked a bit offputting, although Jay said it did taste pretty good. He said it wasn’t as flavorful as the real Indian chicken tandoori, but that he’d recommend it for people just starting to experiment with Indian cuisine.

M Benedict

I decided to try M Café’s version of one of my favorite breakfast items, the one they called the M Benedict. This was served with fresh orange wedges and cherry tomatoes on the side. The poached eggs, sweet ham and hollaindase sauce was just alright for me; I’ve had the opportunities to try better ones. I did like the peppery greens used to heighten the flavors a bit, although it wouldn’t hurt to not include it in the dish either.

My main area of disappointment would be the bread used. It was tough and dry; the hollaindaise sauce and runny egg yolks couldn’t save it! It felt like eating really old bread left to dry out in the open. I decided to leave most of it untouched as it was such a waste of calories. They could’ve just used it for the bread pudding, where it could’ve tasted a whole lot better.

seafood linguine

My oldest brother ordered a serving of the Seafood Linguine. Topped with shrimp, squid and mussels, this dish was a mix of tomato and pesto sauces. My brother said this was okay although slightly strange. It tasted more “tomatoey”, but he wouldn’t mind ordering it again.

To be honest, prices of the food at M Café are steep. The boutique brunch we had was at Php988++ per head, exclusive of drinks. I don’t think any of the main dishes were mind-blowingly good, although there were some items on the buffet spread which were excellent. They were probably the only ones which made the visit kind of worth it. With its hefty price tag and so-so main dishes, visits to the Museum Café would probably be sparse and (maybe) just be more of an indulgence.

*Museum Café is located at the ground floor of Greenbelt 4, Makati Avenue cor. Dela Rosa Street, Ayala Center in Makati City.

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